Infectious keratitis after laser in situ keratomileusis: results of an ASCRS survey

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2003 Oct;29(10):2001-6. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(03)00512-1.


To investigate the incidence, culture results, treatment, and visual outcomes of infectious keratitis after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) worldwide, the Cornea Clinical Committee of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) contacted 8600 United States and international ASCRS members by e-mail and asked them to respond to a questionnaire about post-LASIK infectious keratitis. One hundred sixteen infections were reported by 56 LASIK surgeons who had performed an estimated 338 550 procedures. Seventy-six cases presented in the first week after surgery, 7 during the second week, 17 between the second and fourth weeks, and 16 after 1 month. Forty-seven cases were not diagnosed on initial presentation. The most common organisms cultured were atypical mycobacteria and staphylococci. Empiric therapy is not recommended as most of the organisms are opportunistic and not responsive to conventional therapy. Flap elevation and culturing should be performed when post-LASIK infectious keratitis is suspected.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Cornea / microbiology
  • Corneal Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Corneal Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / epidemiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / epidemiology*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / microbiology
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / adverse effects*
  • Ophthalmology / statistics & numerical data
  • Societies, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology